With shrinking revenue and a falling share price, the Ten Network desperately needs a hit.
Having buried one struggling talent show, Everybody Dance Now, it was pinning its hopes on another, the outback road tour/talent show I Will Survive.
Last night I Will Survive debuted with only 506,000 viewers nationally. With Ten's smaller audience base that isn't an outright disaster, but it is a poor result.
Everybody Dance Now launched to a bigger audience - 598,000 viewers - and was dead within two weeks.
Two other Ten shows, a re-booted Can of Worms and Don't Tell the Bride, launched this week to equally small audiences: 590,000 and 583,000 respectively.
I Will Survive's peak audience - 839,000 viewers - suggests there is a little elasticity in the numbers.
That is not always a good sign, but on the positive side for Ten it means a larger audience sampled I Will Survive but were drawn away by bigger programs, such as Seven's The X Factor, which drew 1.56 million viewers.
In demographic terms, Ten can sharpen its focus on segments of the network's audience which appeal to advertisers, but in broad terms the results are poor.
So far the only bright spots on Ten's post-Olympic tally sheet are the launch of Puberty Blues (925,000 viewers) and the finale of MasterChef All Stars (1.05 million). But even those numbers are not rock-solid.
Remember, this is a commercial network whose audience, with programs such as Australian Idol and MasterChef, has reached close to two million people on a nightly basis.
On another front, Ten is also fighting a battle of perception, with the media rewarding them for critically appealing shows, but punishing them for other shows when it suits the headline.
Puberty Blues, for example, was declared a hit with its 925,000 viewers, while The Shire, with 913,000, was declared a failure by many media outlets.
I Will Survive's weak debut will compound pressure on Ten's executive team to explain why its strategy isn't working.
Cancelling the talent show Everybody Dance Now was a profound blow to Ten's confidence, as studio-based "shiny floor shows" are considered network schedule flagships.
But that series, hosted by Sarah Murdoch and featuring US dance "coaches" Kelly Rowland and Jason Derulo, was comprehensively rejected by Ten's audience.
After launching with 598,000 viewers against the final night of the Nine Network's Olympics coverage, it sank to 300,000 to 350,000 viewers.
Ten had asked production company Fremantle Media to tinker with the format in an attempt to resuscitate its low numbers, but recovery from so small an audience is almost impossible.
Ten's CEO James Warburton put out a statement yesterday admitting - candidly - that the network had failed.
"Unfortunately, we didn't get the Everybody Dance Now format right," he said.
"Although we worked with Fremantle Media to reset the program, clearly it has not struck a chord with viewers."
All of this comes as Ten is weathering its worst performance in recent memory. Its revenue has fallen, its share price has fallen and its ratings performance this year, with a handful of exceptions, has been poor overall.
Warburton said Ten's renewal involved "trying new formats and creating more programming options".